Professional Learning Groups

The Teaching & Learning Forum is happy to provide resources to faculty, but we think that most of what faculty need is interaction with one another.  In this spirit, we're supporting Professional Learning Groups, or PLGs -- but we don't really care what you call them. 

These groups are similar to book groups, but they are focused on specific themes, collaborations, or questions.  TLF will support the group by purchasing reading materials, lunches, or other resources.  If you have a particular group you would like to see formed, contact us.  Or, take a look at some of the groups that have been established and contact a representative from the group to join in.  

Some of the current groups include:

There are many other potential groups, such as the following:
  • Faculty Peer Mentoring 
  • Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 
  • Grant Funding and Program Development 
  • Graduate Program Development and Standards 
  • Plus, other working groups that you would like to propose... 
Let us know ( what you're interested in. We'll advertise your group and provide support materials. 

Other potentially fruitful discussions. Maybe one of these is something others would like to pursue: 
  • How do we mentor undergraduate research? What models do we have for this, what innovations should we be working on, and what goals do we have? 
  • The Lumina Foundation suggests that we increase the percentage of college graduates in the U.S. from 38% to 60% by the year 2025. This is a tall order. Why should we do this, and how do we? (See their report here.) 
  • "Critical thinking" is a learning objective of many courses, programs, and general education standards. What is it? How do we teach such a thing? Is it ever really learned? (The Foundation for Critical Thinking has some food for thought and resources.) 
  • What are effective models for general education curricula that are effective in meeting learning outcomes? What course reforms might be necessary? 
  • What is the meaning of a university degree, whether it's an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree? 
  • What does it mean to be a "scholar?" In a new era of knowledge, is creating original research as valuable as it used to be? If not, what is our responsibility to society as university faculty? 
  • How about a group to discuss "graduate" research? There does not appear to be a support system on campus yet for graduate students. Grad students need help with funding for research and for attending/presenting at conferences. They could also use assistance and mentoring in publishing their papers.A support system for grad students across different disciplines would be useful as well.